From “I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times” by Mónica Guzmán

Curiosity is a serious thing, and it’s past time we get serious about it. What we learn relies first and foremost on how open we are to learning, what room we make in our minds and conversations. When we treat curiosity as a passive state that turns on or off on its own, we’re missing an opportunity to own this wild and wacky virtue of ours by priming our minds to receive curiosity then pointing it where we want it to take us.

What do we need to know about curiosity to direct it at the things we’re missing? And how can we use it to extract new insights and understanding about a tense, messy world – even across big divides?

Sit back and relax, ‘cause I’ve got your curiosity starter kit right here, broken down into four steps I’ve picked up from fifteen years of being curious for a living, mostly on behalf of the people who’ve sent me on my favorite adventures: the lovely, zany, and endlessly complicated friends and neighbors I’ve been honored to (imperfectly!) serve as a journalist right here in Seattle:

  1. Mind the gap
  2. Collect knowledge
  3. Reject the easy answers
  4. Embrace complexity

You ready? Let’s go.